Channel News Asia reports that Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said 88 per cent of all Singaporeans are now protected by MediShield, and that its coverage is growing:

Writing in his blog, the minister said the number of uninsured young Singaporeans has gone down by more than half to 17 per cent last year, as compared to the percentage in 2007.

This was done through reaching out to the young Singaporeans in schools.

Among MediShield policyholders, Mr Khaw said 58 per cent have topped up with a private shield plan for hospitalisation in Class A and private hospitals.

Meanwhile, subscription to ElderShield has increased from 789,000 in 2007 to 906,000.

He said few Singaporeans now opt out of ElderShield, when they cross the age of 40.

And among the ElderShield policyholders, 19 per cent have topped up with private ElderShield supplements, to enjoy a higher payout.

Mr Khaw also revealed that his out-of-pocket expense for his recent bypass surgery was only S$8.

He said his hospital bill was largely paid by MediShield and a private Shield supplement.

Medisave took care of the bill’s co-payment.

The minister said he’s looking at ways to strengthen health insurance further.

Mr Khaw said at an informal lunch with health insurers on Monday, that several ideas were floated.

They included extending MediShield to include mental illness, congenital illness and neo-natal treatment.

There were also comments on raising the claim limits on outpatient cancer care, so as to relieve the burden on cancer patients.

For ElderShield, Mr Khaw said there was discussion on how to raise the monthly basic payout from S$400 and to extend the payout period beyond six years.

He also said there was discussion on how to discourage over-charging, and how to take advantage of the lower cost providers overseas.

  1. Health insurance benefits people the most, and it is good to see that Singapore is catching onto that, beautiful place.

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